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PayPal bringing 400 jobs with new Charlotte operations center

John McCabe, left, senior vice-president of Global Operations at PayPal, holds up a wooden bowl (made by an artist from a tree struck by lightning outside the state capitol), presented to him by Gov. Pat McCrory.
John McCabe, left, senior vice-president of Global Operations at PayPal, holds up a wooden bowl (made by an artist from a tree struck by lightning outside the state capitol), presented to him by Gov. Pat McCrory. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte will be the site of a new operations center for payment-processing firm PayPal, the company and government officials said Friday.

The company plans to hire 400 new employees to staff the center, which will be at 1000 Louis Rose Place, off Research Drive in the University City area. The company expects to reach that jobs target by 2020.

“We’re here because of the engineering talent, and the labor pool and economic opportunity,” said John McCabe, senior vice president of global operations at PayPal. He formerly worked at Wachovia, before the bank’s acquisition by Wells Fargo.

He said the company expects to have the first employees in place at its new facility around October. This will be PayPal’s 11th operations center worldwide.

Incentives also played a role in the company’s decision. The Economic Investment Committee of the N.C. Department of Commerce unanimously approved $3.7 million in state incentives for the San Jose, Calif.-based technology company on Friday. The state incentives will also include $480,000 in community college training as well as contributions from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

In addition, PayPal plans $3.6 million in investments at the planned site by Dec. 31, 2017, according to details discussed by the EIC at its brief meeting. PayPal will expand its customer service, risk operations, merchant services, and engineering and technology functions. The average salary of the new jobs will be $50,929 a year.

The Silicon Valley company also considered expanding in Arizona and Florida before picking North Carolina. PayPal announced in November that Charlotte was in the running for an East Coast operations center. The company said at the time it was considering several cities.

The move comes at a time when officials in Charlotte have been seeking to expand the region’s existing financial-technology industry. Charlotte – known as a home to big banks – remains a smaller player in the financial-tech space compared with New York and Silicon Valley, big hubs for startups that have created competition for traditional banks.

“We want to make sure we’re looking towards the future,” said Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who praised PayPal for bringing “21st-century jobs.”

Gov. Pat McCrory said PayPal is the kind of technologically advanced company Charlotte and North Carolina need to attract to stay current.

“Young people know all about it,” he said of the online payments platform. “Charlotte continues to be a great job-creation center.”

Another financial technology company, AvidXChange, plans to open a six-story headquarters building at the Music Factory next year.

PayPal was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, but the company spun off into an independent, publicly traded company in July. PayPal posted $9.2 billion worth of revenue in 2015.

Observer staff writer Katherine Peralta contributed.

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